Friday, March 1, 2013 9:40:00 AM
Melissa Skinner from Great Day Improvements explains how to aerate your lawn using a mechanical core aerator. She'll walk you through the process and provide some tips for you to consider along the way.
Hi. I’m Melissa Skinner with Great Day Improvements. Welcome to our Easy How-To Home Improvement Video Series.
A healthy and great-looking lawn is a source of pride for every homeowner, though not every homeowner is given the best piece of land to work with. Today, we’re going to change that by helping you aerate your lawn.
Aeration is the process of loosening soil to get oxygen to plant roots, which makes them grow stronger and faster. If you notice your turf grass isn’t looking its best, your soil surface isn’t absorbing water, or your lawn receives a lot of foot traffic, it may be time to aerate.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before we get started:
- Be aware of your grass type. Warm weather grasses should be aerated when the weather begins to warm and cool weather grasses should be aerated when the weather begins to cool. Also, don't aerate your lawn if it has been seeded or sodded within one year of planting.
- Be aware of your equipment. An aerator is a heavy, awkward piece of machinery, and very labor-intensive to work with. If you’re renting one, make sure you’re physically-able to handle it and transport it safety to and from your home. Take the time to read the operator’s manual carefully before use and follow recommended safety procedures.
- Again, be aware of your equipment. Having the right tools saves time and money. For this project, I’d recommend using a mechanical core aerator. The hollow tines on this type of machine actually pull soil cores out of the earth. Other aerators, such as those with spikes, have a tendency to further compact soil.
- The soil plugs the aeration machine produces tend to look like dog poop. So, if you’re planning to have friends and family over for a big holiday cookout, you may want to plan for this.
STEPS for Aeration
- You’ll want to avoid aerating in a very wet or dry situation, so prepare your lawn by thoroughly watering it one-to-two days beforehand.
- Mark the location of hidden objects such as electrical or irrigation lines that could be damaged while operating the machine.
- Run the aerator in a pattern that covers the entire lawn, following your lines as you would when mowing. Pay attention to the size of the soil cores being pulled. They should range in size from an inch to an inch-and-a-half. If you’re pulling smaller cores, you’ll definitely want to double-aerate your lawn.
- Leave the cores on the ground after aeration. They’ll act as a topsoil and aid plant growth, so allow them to decompose naturally. Typically, it takes two-to-four weeks for soil cores to decompose, though this can vary depending on the season and whether or not you’ve mowed recently.
- After aeration, apply grass seed and fertilizer to your lawn if the season calls for it. It’s an ideal time to do so. You’ll want to overseed, or spread grass seed over your entire lawn.
- If you can, limit foot traffic on your lawn after aerating to avoid a mess.
Hopefully this video has brought you one step closer to the lawn of your dreams. Don’t stop with your lawn, though. Call Great Day Improvements today at 800-230-8301, to create an even more attractive outdoor space. With a wide range of available products and services, we can help you design the perfect patio, deck, walkway, sidewalk or garden for your home.
At Great Day Improvements, we’re always improving everything we touch.